If you’re dreaming of that once-in-a-lifetime fun car, there are plenty of alternatives in the used market to make it come true without breaking the bank. Here are our picks of the 10 Best Sports Cars for under $30,000. While all of them are pre-owned, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover that some of these later models can also be purchased new for not much more.

 

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1. 2018 Chevrolet Camaro
The Camaro was completely changed for 2017 and current V6 models can be found for $28,450 at retail for a convertible and $26,436 for the coupe. Pay a little more for a Certified Pre-Owned model and you’ll get a near-new model with a warranty. Classic proportions, good power and handling make the Camaro a fun, stylish option. Find a Chevrolet Camaro near you

 

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2. 2017 Ford Mustang
Both the Camaro and Mustang have all-new models starting right around $30,000, but a year-old version of this iconic pony car will set you back only $23,400 for the convertible and just $21,688 for the coupe. The 2017 model was the last year for the 300-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 so there is a slight element of collectibility to this model. Find a Ford Mustang near you

 

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3. 2017 Subaru BRZ
It’s the only Subaru not to offer all-wheel drive, but that doesn’t take away any of the fun quotient of this flat-four-powered 2+2. The horizontally opposed engine contributes to a low center of gravity, which makes this sporty coupe feel as if it's glued to the road. Retail prices are in the $25,600 range, but for about $1,500 more you might score one of the yellow limited-edition models. Find a Subaru BRZ near you

 

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4. 2017 Toyota 86
The car formerly known as the Scion FRS transformed into the Toyota 86 for 2017 and is the twin of the Subaru BRZ. It shares Subaru’s flat-four engine design, puts out 205 horsepower when equipped with the 6-speed manual and is priced a tad lower at about $24,500. While virtually the same as the BRZ, the Toyota version benefits from having a larger network of dealerships for service. Find a Toyota 86 near you

 

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5. 2017 Fiat 124 Spider

While actually built by Mazda, the Fiat 124 differs from the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 scenario by having different styling (it’s slightly longer), interior trim and engine. The 124 Spider is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder making 160 horsepower and the ride is a bit softer. You can find them for about $22,300 and you won’t see as many of them as you will of the MX-5 Miata. Spend $6,000 more and you’ll be able to swing a new 2018. Find a Fiat 124 Spider near you

 

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6. 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The one that started the renaissance of affordable 2-seaters has held up well. The latest iteration features swoopy styling in a slightly more compact footprint. Its power comes from a 155-horsepower normally aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Even though you can buy a new one for less than $30,000, given the reliability, durability and resale value, you can’t go wrong with finding a late-model Miata for around $23,300. Keep in mind the body style changed in 2017, so earlier-generation models will cost considerably less. Find a Mazda MX-5 Miata near you

 

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7. 2017 Nissan 370Z

This is one serious sports car. Compact with a powerful 332-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 up front driving the rear wheels, the 2017 Nissan 370Z is true to the Z-car heritage of offering plenty of performance in a nimble, agile package. While the Z is getting long in the tooth, its looks remain contemporary. Given that year-old models are selling for just under $27,000, the 370Z offers plenty of bang for the buck. Find a Nissan 370Z near you

 

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8. 2014 BMW Z4

If your tastes run towards more European cars, the 2014 BMW Z4 should be on your shopping list. This tidy 2-seater, with its folding hardtop design, offers the best of both worlds giving you open-air thrills on demand or protection from the elements that a coupe traditionally offers. There’s also plenty to choose from in the performance department. Used models with a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder run about $25,500. For $3,500 more and still under the $30,000 bogey, you can get a 3.0-liter inline-six with 300 horsepower. Find a BMW Z4 near you

 

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9. 2012 Chevrolet Corvette

This is the American classic. Big V8 power up front, sexy shape and a surprising amount of room define Corvette. While a brand new one will cost over $60,000, a previous-generation C6 model offers a stout 400 horsepower from its brawny 6.0-liter LS2 V8 engine. It’s the first generation to drop the hideaway headlights, a signature design cue from the early 1960s, but that also means there’s one less system to break on these cars. You can find a 2012 model for $29,500 for a coupe and $29,750 for a convertible. Find a Chevrolet Corvette near you

 

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10. 2011 Porsche Boxster

A wise man once said everyone should own at least one Porsche in their lifetime…okay, maybe we exaggerate a little. But Porsche is an iconic sports car brand and the best way to get into one for less than $30,000 is to find a 2011 model of this mid-engine 2-seater. The soft-top Boxster offers up 255 horsepower through its 2.9-liter flat-six. Keep in mind all new Boxsters are now turbo flat-fours. The 2011 models go for about $23,700. Find a Porsche Boxster near you

 

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